C Hill flag slowly unfurling

A work party spent Wednesday clearing brush and squaring the frame of the C Hill flag while architects finalize their engineering plan.

Inmate firefighters from the Nevada Division of Forestry joined C Hill Flag Foundation volunteers from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. realigning the wooden frame.

"The first time we made the flag we lined it up on the C. This time we're going off what the surveyors measured," said Pascal Carpiaux, assistant chief of operations on the site. "It was off by about a foot."

The 16-member work party used shovels and Polaskis to clear plants from the 120-by-67-foot site.

"The weeds are getting pretty thick up here," said Brian Tibbets, supervisor of Eastern Sierra Crew 427 out of Stewart Conservation Camp.

He and his crew also worked on the first flag which was destroyed in a December wind storm.

"You feel like you're accomplishing something up here," he said from 5,450 feet above sea level on the hill Wednesday. "When we worked on it last time it was kind of neat to look up on the hill and say, 'We helped build that.'"

His crew is committed to work on the site today as well.

The U.S. Forest Service owns the land the flag will be secured to. They require a permit before the flag can be completed.

"I'm going to be the liaison between the Forest Service and the foundation," said foundation President Robin Williamson, also a Carson City supervisor.

She doesn't expect any problems with the Forest Service.

"They've said over and over again they're supportive of the idea and are proud to have it on Forest Service land," she said.

The group is currently awaiting the results of an engineering report done by volunteer architects and structural engineers.

"I think we're going to be done by mid-next week," said Mike Mitchell, director of operations for the Carson City School District and volunteer architect on the flag. "We ought to be able to get to the Forest Service next week."

Engineering a sound flag has been interesting because of definitions, he said.

"It's not really a sign and it's not really a structure either," he said. "We're having to kind of read between the lines on the code to adapt this design to engineering requirements."

After the engineering report comes in and the Forest Service OKs the plan, the foundation will get under way with its major fund-raising, Williamson said.

In the meantime she appreciates the inmate fire crew's help.

"They work really, really hard," she said. "They've been invaluable and really supportive."

The original 120-foot by 67-foot flag was completed Oct. 19, 2001, in memory of the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.


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